I with two other colleagues from GBOD (Steve Manskar and Sandy Jackson) had the joy of being with some vibrant emerging missional leaders in the Alabama West Florida Annual Conference (Don Woolley, Brian Miller, Pat Bethea, and Rob Couch) for a partnership conversation between these leaders, a DS (Tonya Elmore) working with them in the conference, and a staffer from the General Board of Global Ministries (Patrick Friday) in Birmingham this past Tuesday. These younger pastors have been working away at missional leadership, and in particular with Alan Hirsch, and the conference has been supporting them in spreading The Forgotten Ways
as both a conversation starter and as a serious study guide for what missional leadership and missional engagement can look like in and beyond the congregations of their conference. It's been hard work-- obviously. But also very rewarding-- also obviously.
A serious "step up" for their work in that region (though any of us from anywhere who are able are certainly invited to be part of this) is the first Catapult Conference
that Alan Hirsch is offering in the United States, coming up September 22-24 in Mobile. Full details-- regularly updated-- are on their website
I actually cannot be there because of commitments at GBOD... just need to say that up front. But I do urge any of you who can to consider either how you can get there or who in your social networks might find this event to be catalytic or "catapulting" for missional engagement and missional discipleship where you are or where they are.
Now, neither I nor they have any illusions that if you attend this you'll get the "10 Surefire Steps to Becoming Missional in 40 Days." I think what you'll get out of this is encouragement, an expansion of networks, and the realization that there are people, resources and support to engage this basic missiological work, which is always work for the long haul, though also work that can begin today.
So check it out... and share this widely.
Peace in Christ,